Memorandum submitted by the British Tourist
1.1 The British Tourist Authority (BTA)
was established by the Development of Tourism Act, 1969. It is
charged with encouraging people to visit Great Britain, encouraging
the provision and improvement of tourist facilities and amenities
in Great Britain and has a duty to advise Ministers and public
bodies on matters affecting tourism in Great Britain.
1.2 When we last appeared before the Committee
to give evidence on this issue we had recently taken the decision
to re-deploy resources to enable us to exploit further the benefits
that sport can deliver to tourism. We have now established a Sports
Tourism Department and before moving on to discuss our role in
relation to international sporting events, we should like to take
the opportunity to up-date members of the Committee on other aspects
of our sports tourism work.
2. SPORTS TOURISM:
2.1 The Value of Sports Tourism to Britain
2.1.1 In 1999, some 25.5 million overseas
visitors came to Britain and spent £13 billion.
2.1.2 In 1995, when we welcomed 25.5 million
visitors from overseas, who spent some £11.8 billionpart
of a total UK tourism trips spend that year of £24.5 billionSport
England calculated that £1.5 billion was spent on sports-related
tourism. As empirical research shows that sports tourism can account
for 25 per cent-33 per cent of all tourism, the indications are
that there is a great deal of scope for growth in this sector.
We intend to capitalise on this for the benefit of British tourism.
2.1.3 The general consensus seems to be
that Australia has provided an exemplar for future hosts of international
sporting events. Australian States such as Victoria have developed
successful, event-based tourism strategies and the fact that they
won and hosted the 2000 Olympic Games demonstrates the success
of this approach. There is little doubt that Australia will gain,
not only from visitors to the Games themselves but also from those
who will have been inspired to visit the country as a result of
watching the events on television. It was estimated that, over
an eight-year periodbefore, during and after the Gamesan
additional 1.6 million visitors will travel to Australia as a
result of the 2000 Olympics and it now seems likely that this
will prove to be an underestimate. There could be no better example
of the potential of an international sporting event to act as
a showcase for the host country and to attract visitors for several
years in to the future.
2.1.4 On a smaller scale, the Euro '96 football
tournament, hosted by England attracted over 280,000 visitors,
providing the eight host cities with a cash injection of around
£120 million. Over 330,000 people are estimated to have visited
Wales for the Rugby World Cup, 21 per cent of whom were from overseas.
The Wales Tourist Board inRugby World Cup 1999Economic
Impact Evaluationestimated that the net additional
expenditure generated was around £83 million and that the
event would act as the catalyst for 135,000 more trips to the
UK over the next five years, generating up to £15 million.
2.1.5 UK Sport has also undertaken significant
research on the economic value of sporting events. However, as
we understand that they and the Wales Tourist Board will each
be dealing with their respective research in their own evidence
to the Committee we will not attempt to duplicate the material
2.2 What is Sports Tourism?
2.2.1 All countries play sport and many
host international events but few can offer as many top quality,
top name sports as Britain, or such a huge range of "cathedrals
of sport" such as Wembley, Old Trafford, The Oval, Lord's,
Headingly, Murrayfield, Twickenham, St Andrews, Ascot and the
Millennium Stadium. Sports are a well established part of British
life and can provide an insight into our lifestyle and heritage.
2.2.2 There are four sports-related reasons
why overseas visitors want to come to Britain:
To watch great spectator sports.
To visit great sporting venues and
enjoy Britain's sports' heritage.
To participate in outdoor leisure
activities and sports.
To enjoy sports-themed activities.
2.2.3 Sports tourism is now more popular
and economically important than ever before: increasingly, people
are better off and have a greater desire to travel; low cost air
fares are fuelling the continued growth in the popularity of short
breaks, activity and special interest holidays and there is a
growing interest in sport and a higher awareness of international
events. Much of Britain's competitive sport receives considerable
television coverage across the world, such as premiership and
2.3 BTA's Sports Tourism Strategy
2.3.1 In developing our Sports Tourism Strategy,
our aim was to maximise the potential of sport for inbound tourism
to Britain. We identified five key objectives:
To position sports as an integral
part of the British tourism product alongside heritage, culture,
lifestyle and the countryside;
To raise awareness among the sports
industry of the economic benefit and potential of attracting overseas
To contribute to the winning of major
international sporting events;
To position BTA as the leading agency
of an integrated approach to the development of sports tourism;
To complement the Sports Strategies
of the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, the Scottish Parliament
and the Welsh Assembly.
2.3.2 To guide and support the BTA in carrying
out this Strategy, the BTA Board set up a Sports Tourism Forum
under the chairmanship of one of its Members, Des Wilson, who
is also deputy Chairman of Sport England. The Vice-Chairman, is
Tom Pendry MP, and membership of the Forum is wide ranging and
includes representatives from sports governing bodies, the travel
trade and the tourism industry as well as well known sporting
champions such as Tony Lewis and Mary Peters.
3. BTA'S ROLE
3.1 We think that the role of a national
tourist office in staging international sporting events is to:
Support bids for international events;
To maximise the tourism potential
(a) by using them as a catalyst to promote, support
and encourage the improvement of products and facilities
(b) to boost visitors in the short term
(c) to enhance the image and competitive
position of the destination in the longer term
4. BTA'S ROLE
4.1 The Manchester 2002 Commonwealth Games
4.1.1 BTA is a member of the Regional Tourism
Marketing Working Group created to maximise the tourism opportunities
provided by the Commonwealth Games. All of the key tourism bodies
are represented; viz the North West Tourist Board (which co-ordinates
the Group), Northwest Development Agency, Cumbria Tourist Board,
England's North Country Marketing Consortium, Marketing Manchester,
Manchester City Council, Manchester Airport plc, M2002 Limited
and Marketing Manchester.
4.1.2 The Group has produced a marketing
plan which is summarised in a publication entitled Maximising
the Tourism Potential for the North West Region. The plan is divided
in to two stages: Stage 1July 2000 to March 2001is
aimed at creating consumer and trade awareness, improving image
and shaping opinion. Stage 2April 2001 to March 2003will
focus on heightening awareness and directly stimulating visits;
post Games there will be continued activity to maintain the momentum,
together with programme evaluation.
4.1.3 The key strategic aims of the plan
are to use the Games to raise awareness of, and improve the image,
of the North West and to benefit economically from increased visitor
numbers to the region. These aims give rise to four main marketing
To increase awareness of the North
West in specific target markets and among key audiences.
To improve positive image perceptions
of the region in specific target markets/key audiences from 2000
to 2002 and from 2002 to 2004.
To achieve at least 460,000 additional
bed nights, with direct spending of £31 million in 2002.
To reach and exceed the regional
tourism growth targets up to 2004, creating up to 30,000 new jobs.
4.1.4 The marketing plan recognises that
for these aims to be achieved a number of other factors will need
to be in place. Areas identified as being critical for success
in delivering an outstanding visitor experience in 2002 include
infrastructure (especially transport), accommodation, visitor
management, customer service and quality assurance.
4.1.5 BTA's role in the group has been to
help formulate the marketing plan and to provide overseas support
for the Games through our Sports Tourism Department and network
of overseas offices. The key markets in which the Games will be
promoted are Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and Canada.
We also expect some interest to be generated in Europe, in particular
in relation to the festival programme to be developed alongside
the Commonwealth Games.
4.1.6 To date, we have promoted the Games
through our quarterly newsletter "Sports Tourism News";
the Sports Tourism Trade Advisory Packwhich is aimed at
advising the industry on how to get a share of the sports tourism
marketthe Sporting Britain website www.visitbritain.com/sport,
and in our Main Guidesthe primary piece of promotional
print that BTA produces for each of its markets. The Games will
also be featured in our forthcoming Sporting Venues Map and Sporting
Britain magazine, both of which will be published shortly. Sport
and the 2002 Commonwealth Games were also the central theme of
our standtaken in partnership with Marketing Manchesterat
the World Travel Market this year.
4.1.7 BTA overseas offices will be featuring
the Games in their forthcoming promotional activities, particularly
in the key markets identified above. As well as our Main Guides,
this will include trade shows, Sports Tourism launches, press
trips, leaflet distributions, magazine inserts and other more
innovative ways of promoting the tourism message associated with
4.1.8 For example, all British athletes
competing at the Olympics or Paralympics in Sydney this year were
provided with a fact pack on Britain. This provided them with
information about the value of tourism to the British economy,
the value of Australian visitors in particular and details of
the Commonwealth Games in Manchester 2002. In October this year,
250 Australian travel agents visited Manchester as part of BTA's
"UKthe Tour" event and received comprehensive
briefings on the Commonwealth Games.
4.2 The 2003 World Indoor Athletics Championships
4.2.1 The World Indoor Athletics Championships
will be held in Birmingham in 2003. An organisation committee
for the games is in the process of being established and, once
it is up and running, we will be liasing closely with its members
to establish how BTA can most effectively work with it to promote
the Championships overseas. In any event, we will be incorporating
details in all relevant activities and print for 2002, such as
our Sports Tourism newsletter and Sporting Britain website. We
will also mount a co-ordinated campaign to ensure that the tourism
potential of the Championships is promoted internationally through
our network of offices.
4.2.2 Meanwhile, we are a member of a working
group, formed by the Heart of England Tourist Board to formulate
a sports tourism strategy for the region. Birmingham City Council
who are hosting the Indoor Championships is also heavily involved
in this project.
4.3 The 2005 World Athletics Championships
4.3.1 The World Athletics Championships
are scheduled to be held at a new stadium to be built at Picketts
Lock although we understand that this may change. Once more details
are available and the venue is confirmed, we will certainly plan
a promotional campaign but, for tourism purposes, it is too soon
to begin to promote the event actively.
5. BTA'S ROLE
2006 FIFA WORLD CUP
5.1 As the Committee is aware the English
bid to stage the FIFA World Cup in 2006 was co-ordinated by the
FA and led by Alec McGivan. It was a high-profile campaign supported
fully by BTA through highlighting the attractions and appeal of
England to promote the destination alongside the bid for the event.
We also had a seat on the bid's advisory panel, co-ordinated by
the FA, and provided help and assistance wherever possible.
5.2 The FA cited tourism as one of the six
key benefits that would accrue to the UK from hosting the event
and BTA supplied all of the supporting statistics and background
information to support this. We cross-linked our web sites; shared
video footage to supply to broadcasters; and arranged for the
FA's 2006 literature to be sent for display to our overseas offices.
We also arranged for our overseas based PR officers to be briefed
by the FA and all of our overseas offices were supplied with an
England 2006 World Cup Bid press pack which included a multi-lingual
video. We also contributed to FIFA's technical visit to England
in October last year.
5.3 In addition, we assisted and advised
the FA in relation to the negotiation of hotel contracts; although
this was one of FIFA's key requirements for a successful bid.
Hoteliers were understandably nervous of committing to accommodation
rates seven years in advance.
5.4 BTA also supported the "Welcome
to the World" programme, the central theme of the FA's bid
and which was aimed at promoting football throughout the worldand
England as the home of football. Had the FA bid been successful,
we would have used this programme to ensure that the legacy of
the event would have had a positive effect on inbound tourism
6. A POTENTIAL
6.1 The Olympic Games in Sydney provided,
through the positive experiences of the participants, a great
platform for Australian tourism.
6.2 Before this summer's Games, the Australian
Tourist Commission estimated that a total of 1.6 million additional
visitors would visit the country as a result of its hosting the
Olympics; some visiting for the Games itself and others coming
at a later stage as a result of Australia's raised profile as
a destination. With the benefit of hindsight it would appear that
this prediction will be exceeded and that the lasting positive
benefits in terms of image and visitor numbers will be immense.
It is estimated that the economic benefit of hosting the Olympics
could be as much as US $4-5 billion.
6.3 Sydney seems set to reap the benefits
of running a successful Games. The level of welcome and service
extended to both athletes and visitors was exemplary: that this
was so, was due in no small part to the fact that the venues were
so well managed, the media were well catered for, and the necessary
accommodation and transport infrastructures were in place. Had
these things not all been as they were, Australia could now be
reaping the disadvantages of the negative publicity that would
have ensued. We believe that Britain would do well to learn from
7.1 We hope that this submission will serve
to illustrate that sports tourism now occupies a permanent place
in BTA's promotion of tourism to Britain and that, with the establishment
of our dedicated sports tourism department, we are better placed
than ever before to work with partners from both the sports and
tourism industries to support and exploit the potential of sports
tourism to Britain.